Bee assemblages and vegetation across a suite of restoration conditions in a fire-maintained longleaf pine savanna
Breland, Sabrie Jacquelyn Rogers
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Pollinator populations are declining worldwide. Habitat restoration may mitigate declines in wild pollinators. I examined the effects of a suite of longleaf pine savanna restoration conditions on bee (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila) and vegetation assemblages with particular focus on the practice of prescribed burning. I found that bee assemblages in restored and degraded longleaf savannas differed compositionally from those in reference savannas. Restoration stages in which the forest structure was most similar to reference sites resulted in similar bee and vegetation assemblage composition. Within the burn cycle of reference conditions, bee species richness was found to be higher in the year immediately after fire than two years later partially as the result of an increase in floral abundance after burning. These results suggest that restoration of diverse ground cover plant species and the use of prescribed burning will promote conservation of diverse bee assemblages in longleaf savannas.